Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dispatch from the Front

Well, here I am again.
Since Friday, June 14th I've been at the Academy for Language & Technology, near Mt. Eden Avenue, grading Global Regents exams. Needless to say, this has been a huge fiasco. Scoring was supposed to have been completed last Thursday and here it is Tuesday--the penultimate day before the close of the 2012-2013 school year.

I missed the school trips Ms. Cho & I planned for the school yesterday and today. But it's great knowing we have students visiting Columbia University today. Kids at NYU yesterday.
Other students had the opportunity to visit NFL headquarters, while still others went to South Street Seaport yesterday. Today was a big Chinatown trip for other folks.

It's even better seeing some of the Global scores coming in from our students. We still await some scores--as I stated, this has been a GIANT fiasco--but one sophomore, J., earned a 97% while M. earned a 96%.
Another boy surprised me with his 90 and I'm happy for D. and his 83%. He worked on the test for 8 hours! [English Language Learners get a lot of extra time.]

So, an unusual way for me to close out this school year, in exile here in the South Bronx, now with a whole new collection of colleagues at a different school. But perhaps I will eventually be reunited with my true school. Maybe.
I was supposed to be back there last Friday. Then Monday. Then today. I am fairly sure I will be back at HSLI tomorrow for the final day. Then I can see students just before summer break begins, as they pick up their report cards.

For now, we sit and wait. Regents exams were still being scanned into a new electronic grading system as of this  morning. There were at least 73,000 Global exams in all [last week we thought there were only around 60,000 but none of us knew the actual number.]
I think the scanning may have now finally finished. But we are no longer receiving any exams in our individual scorers' accounts. And so we wait...and wait...and wait. And this is how it all began this time last week, which is a major reason why this process has seemed infinite.
It finally picked up last Thursday and Friday with exams shooting in to us pretty much non-stop.
But then teachers were called in for overtime pay ("per session") during the weekend. I worked at Lehman High school on East Tremont on Sunday from 0830-1330.

It's been a bit surreal.
This time last year schools were still grading their own students' exams and it took as long as two days, but usually 1.5. Now it's been 9 days of grading, including the overtime days. Meanwhile, McGraw Hill or a sub-contractor connected to them has picked up a $10 million contract from this brilliant example of "performance evaluation."

Oh well. Summer break is near. Everyone is gearing up for adventures. My summer reading has begun. It's hot out, 92 today, but it's all good.